Emley's fantastic FA Cup run ends after penalty heartbreak at Alfreton Town
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There were three levels and 74 places difference between the sides at kick-off, but it was hard to tell as Emley more than matched their National League North opponents and were so close to earning a replay when awarded a late penalty they could not take advantage of, writes Martin Eastwood.
The game was played out in driving and swirling rain but that did not dampen the spirits of Emley's players or their army of fans behind one of the goals.
The Pewits gave as good as they got in the first half with both defences doing well to cancel each other out.
But 10 minutes into the second half the hosts struck as a ball down the Emley right saw two unfortunate slips in the skiddy conditions and Fewster took full advantage, cutting inside and blasting past an outstretched Dec Lambton.
Emley dug in and refused to concede again, instead they found their offensive feet and attacked their hosts again.
A corner from Paul Walker saw a flashing header saved, then a good move down the right saw a good ball swung in the box, but the keeper came and gathered it safely.
Alfreton had a big chance to double their lead when awarded a penalty after a clumsy challenge inside the area. Day stepped up, but it was the Emley supporters who were celebrating as Lambton dived low to his right to save superbly and keep his side in the game.
Both sets of fans were backing their teams as the game entered the last 10 minutes with the hosts holding a narrow lead and Lambton was again forced into a save from a header.
Emley refused to accept defeat and they continued to battle to look for an opportunity, which almost came when Ross Hardaker's whipped ball in was inches away from the boot of substitute James Walshaw.
It looked like Emley's efforts were going to be rewarded with a minute left. A foul inside the Alfreton area saw the referee award a penalty and it was joy and anticipation from the travelling fans.
But the joy would be shortlived as, like Lambton before him, the Reds keeper dived to his right to deny Walshaw and end Emley's hopes.
They might have been beaten, but Emley were not defeated and at the final whistle, despite being so close to another replay, they were applauded off by their fans and also by the Alfreton supporters who appreciated the efforts from Emley.
So the FA Cup run comes to an end in glorious defeat at the third qualifying round and attention now turns to NCE League action when a visit to Rossington Main is on order on Tuesday.